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Membranes 2015, 5(3), 454-472;

Structural Significance of Lipid Diversity as Studied by Small Angle Neutron and X-ray Scattering

Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna—Moscow Region, Russia
Department of Physical Chemistry of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University, 832 32 Bratislava, Slovakia
Biology & Soft Matter Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6453, USA
Department of Physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1200, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maikel Rheinstadter
Received: 31 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Structure and Dynamics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [496 KB, uploaded 21 September 2015]   |  


We review recent developments in the rapidly growing field of membrane biophysics, with a focus on the structural properties of single lipid bilayers determined by different scattering techniques, namely neutron and X-ray scattering. The need for accurate lipid structural properties is emphasized by the sometimes conflicting results found in the literature, even in the case of the most studied lipid bilayers. Increasingly, accurate and detailed structural models require more experimental data, such as those from contrast varied neutron scattering and X-ray scattering experiments that are jointly refined with molecular dynamics simulations. This experimental and computational approach produces robust bilayer structural parameters that enable insights, for example, into the interplay between collective membrane properties and its components (e.g., hydrocarbon chain length and unsaturation, and lipid headgroup composition). From model studies such as these, one is better able to appreciate how a real biological membrane can be tuned by balancing the contributions from the lipid’s different moieties (e.g., acyl chains, headgroups, backbones, etc.). View Full-Text
Keywords: lipidome; bilayer; structure; X-ray scattering; neutron scattering; lipid area lipidome; bilayer; structure; X-ray scattering; neutron scattering; lipid area

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Kučerka, N.; Heberle, F.A.; Pan, J.; Katsaras, J. Structural Significance of Lipid Diversity as Studied by Small Angle Neutron and X-ray Scattering. Membranes 2015, 5, 454-472.

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